Federal Government Awards Multi-agency Solar Power Purchase Agreement in CA, NV

December 15, 2015

 

SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and U.S. Forest Service, awarded a contract for the federal government’s first-ever joint solar power procurement in California and Nevada.  Solar developer SolarCity Corporation  of San Mateo, California was awarded a power purchase agreement (PPA) as part of the Federal Aggregated Solar Procurement Pilot (FASPP) -- a strategic sourcing project that combines several small to mid-size photovoltaic (PV) installation opportunities within northern California and northern Nevada into a single procurement.

The FASPP is a contracting solution designed to take advantage of economies of scale in solar installation with no up-front cost to the government. This project brings together multiple federal agencies and one private company to demonstrate that combined procurement and project management resources results in greater efficiency and cost effectiveness.   This multi-agency energy procurement will not only save the government $5 million in energy cost, it will also help achieve the Administration’s 2025 Renewable Energy Goal as outlined in Executive Order 13693, Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade.

Federal Chief Sustainability Officer, Christine Harada: "This groundbreaking project will make it easier for federal agencies to use onsite renewable power while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and saving taxpayer dollars. This initiative is a great way to showcase how the federal government is leading by example and taking advantage of the incredible opportunities to build a clean energy economy, especially given the historic agreement in Paris."

GSA Chief Sustainability Officer Kevin Kampschroer: “The federal government is the single largest energy consumer in the nation and GSA, as its landlord and realtor, has a responsibility to lead by example in energy and sustainability. This strategic sourcing contract not only supports GSA’s commitment to greening the government, it also allows us to help create energy GSA will use at federal facilities.”

DOE’s Federal Energy Management Program Director, Tim Unruh: “Innovative procurements like the FASPP effort are a critical element in DOE’s strategy to facilitate broad adoption of renewables at federal sites in order to achieve federal mandates, reduce taxpayer costs, increase the resiliency of power supplies, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The federal government leads by example, and the FASPP procurement has broad applicability in both the public and private sectors.”

EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest, Jared Blumenfeld:  “This project exemplifies the President’s call for federal agencies to increase their renewable electricity portfolios to 30 percent by 2025 and leverage their combined purchasing power. FASPP demonstrates that both greenhouse gas and utility bill reductions are possible and should be scaled up throughout the federal family.”

Pacific Southwest Regional Forester for the U.S. Forest Service, Randy Moore: “As a land management agency concerned with precious natural resources, it is exciting to be involved in a program that parallels our other sustainability efforts. To meet many of our future restoration goals, we need great collaboration and strong partnerships, and I see that mirrored here with this solar project.”

Under this PPA, SolarCity Corporation will install and operate the PV systems, spanning nine federal sites in San Jose, Menlo Park, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Bruno, Santa Rosa, Vallejo, Carson City and Reno, and sell power by the kilowatt-hour to the federal government.

The FASPP is one of six programs selected as part of the White House GreenGov Spotlight Communities Program administered by the Council on Environmental Quality. Initially, the project will produce up to 5 megawatts of solar power across the multiple sites in California and Nevada and has the potential to serve as a model for how federal entities nationwide can partner to procure renewable energy.

EPA convened a team of federal offices interested in procuring renewable energy produced at their facilities. GSA agreed to provide contracting and project management support. DOE’s Federal Energy Management Program, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory provided technical expertise and support. The Forest Service and GSA plan to host the solar systems and buy the renewable energy.

Key Facts:
• SolarCity Corporation will own and operate the system and will sell power by the kilowatt- hour to the federal government.
• The initial contract term is 10 years with an option for an additional 10 years.
• The contract requires the PV systems be installed and operational by the end of 2016.
• The federal government will save $5 million over 19 production years.
• FASPP will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 40,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide over the contract period.  This is equivalent to taking 8,400 cars off the road for one year.
• The nine project locations in northern California and northern Nevada include: Regional Office Building in Vallejo, Calif. (U.S. Forest Service); Robert F. Peckham Federal Building in San Jose, Calif. (GSA); John F. Shea Federal Building in Santa Rosa, Calif. (GSA); Federal Building at 2800 Cottage Way in Sacramento, Calif. (GSA); Leo J. Ryan Federal Records Center in San Bruno, Calif. (GSA); U.S. Geological Survey Campus in Menlo Park, Calif. (GSA); James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse in San Francisco, Calif. (GSA); C. Clifton Young Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Reno, Nev. (GSA); and the Carson City Federal Building in Carson City, Nev. (GSA).
• Four sites will achieve net zero for electricity: Carson City Federal Building, C. Clifton Young Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, Leo J. Ryan Federal Records Center, U.S. Forest Service Regional Office Building.
• Systems will be a mixture of rooftop, ground-mounted, and parking lot canopies.
• Aggregate capacity of the systems is approximately five megawatts.

Agency Contacts:
U.S. General Services Administration – Traci Madison, traci.madison@gsa.gov, (415) 581-1788
U.S. Department of Energy - Joshunda Sanders, DOENews@hq.doe.gov, (202) 586-4940
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Niloufar Nazmi, nazmi.niloufar@epa.gov, (415) 972-3684
U.S. Forest Service - John C. Heil III, jheil@fs.fed.us, (707) 562-9004
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Last Reviewed 2015-12-15